Squeezelite, Pi Zero W and Bluetooth versions

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  • 10. März 2022 at 12:00 #52121

    Hi all!

    I’ve been using Raspberry Pi with Max2Play as Squeezebox devices for a number of years. Initially as replacements for failing Squeezebox HW but later as the standard goto when setting up new devices as part of my multi-room setup.

    Over the years, the devices has mainly been Wifi connected, but the speakers have always been wired. Recently I made the decision to go for a bluetooth setup based on a Pi Zero W in combination with a JBL Charge 4 and it worked fine. Some operational delay, but still sounded fine.

    Now, is there a limitation in the Bluetooth version support in either the Pi Zero W, Max2Play (v2.55) or Squeezelite?

    Reason for asking… I got myself another bluetooth speaker, the JBL Charge 5, and tried to hook it up instead of the JBL Charge 4. It hooks up alright according to both the Bluetooth plugin in the Max2Play web interface and the speaker itself (LED and sound confirmation). But, no sound. Or, sometimes very crappy sound as severely broken up with low volume. Nothing else changed in the setup. Swapping back to the Charge 4 get the music going again, sometimes needing a reboot.

    Is there a setup change needed, like the ALSA parameters or similar? Or and update of any SW component? Or is it just a bluetooth compability issue between the Charge 4 (bluetooth v 4.2) and Charge 5 (bluetooth v 5.1)? I’m not into the details of the versions, but assumed them to be compatible…

    Thankful for any response to get this sorted…


    15. März 2022 at 16:42 #52136

    Hi Ramses,

    Theoretically, Bluetooth should be backwards compatible. Accordingly, the Charge 5 should work at least as well as the Charge 4. Nevertheless, we cannot exclude that there might be a configuration/version problem. I have not found anything on the Github page of Bluealsa – the service we use for Bluetooth. But maybe you can find a hint that will help us: https://github.com/Arkq/bluez-alsa

    Can you try how far away you have to move the Charge 4 from the Pi before the connection quality drops? It might be possible to solve the problem with an external Bluetooth stick, as the Pi Zero uses one chip for Bluetooth and Wifi and they can get in each other’s way sometimes.

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